Symptoms of Depression

Signs of DepressionThere is a significant difference between depression and clinical depression. Most people experience some mild form of depression at some point in their lives, generally feeling sad or unhappy for a short period of time. Clinical depression (also known as Major Depressive Disorder) is much more complex than simply feeling “blue.” Clinical depression is an Axis I psychiatric disorder in which feelings of sadness, anger and frustration interfere with the individual’s everyday life. Persons who are clinically depressed are at a greater risk for harming themselves and those around them and interpersonal and professional relationships are likely to suffer.

Over 14 million people in the United States suffer from some form of depressive disorder in a year. Only 20 percent of those people receive adequate treatment for their depression. Depression also weakens the immune system and increases a person’s chance of physical illness.

Signs and Symptoms of  Clinical Depression

There are a variety of depression therapy programs available for those struggling with the condition. Often people do not realize they are clinically depressed and attribute their symptoms to something unrelated. Being aware of the signs of depression for both yourself and your loved ones is an critical step in knowing when to get help.

  • Insomnia
  • Inability to experience pleasure in activities they previously enjoyed
  • Hypersomnia
  • A fixation on feelings of worthlessness, ¬†hopelessness, regret and guilt
  • Symptoms of psychosis such as delusions and, less commonly, hallucinations
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • A loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Exhaustion upon waking
  • Cognitive symptoms like forgetfulness and slowing of movements
  • Isolation from friends and family

Being able to identify and understand the symptoms of depression is extremely important. Correctly diagnosing the problem is the first step in getting treatment.

Treating Symptoms of Clinical Depression

After a person has been diagnosed, the treatment process can begin. Treatment can involve the use of medications; anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs are appropriate in some individuals as they are believed to correct biochemical imbalances in the brain which are often the root cause of clinical depression.

Besides prescription medication, many patients are encouraged to make whole lifestyle changes to treat their depression. Regular physical activity has been proven to release endorphins and elevate mood, while forms of yoga and mediation can ease stress and help regulate any hormonal imbalances in the body.

If you or someone you love is exhibiting the symptoms of depression, please call our toll-free number and speak to one of our counselors. They can answer any questions you might have about depression while getting you the help you need.